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Old September 5, 2013, 11:00 AM   #1
BoogieMan
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460s&w for black bear

I bought a bear permit in PA. I see them during the deer/bear season and have never had the permit. This year I am using my scoped 460xvr for the first time. I am running some slow 250gr HP XTP's and wondering how well that will tackle a bear. Would I be better served to mix the cylinder with a couple of hot loads in a solid bullet or carry my 30-06 into the stand. Also I would like to know what is best shot placement. Neck shot, head, or CM heart?
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Old September 5, 2013, 11:39 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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North east bear are hardly bigger than a large deer, on average. Massive specimens exist but the average fully-adult female will barely see 200 pounds and a boar has to be 5 or 6 years old to break 400 and will almost never break 500.

Your 460 is plenty enough with whatever you've loaded.

Best shot placement is the same is it is with virtually every big game animal in the entire world. Double lung.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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I agree with Brian. Really anything from the hotter 357 mag loads on up would do just fine. While there are some 500-600 lb bear around 200 is normal. Black bear just ain't that big or hard to kill, not very agressive either. Even if you do run into one of the bigger bear you are over gunned.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:18 PM   #4
BoogieMan
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I was just reading some more about my loads anyway. Looks like I am going to end up using the 300gr XTP Mag or if I can come upon some the Speer 300gr DC. Either way it takes away any fear of not making a clean kill. I am afraid it might be a bit excessive for the 140lb+- deer I see. Should make for a humane kill either way.
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:15 PM   #5
TimSr
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See your other post. Hornady makes an XTP and an XTP MAG. XTP is for .45LC loaded up to .44 Mag velocities. If you are doing full power loads, use the XTP MAGs. They are made to hold together on impact at .454/460 velocities. On my Casull, I was never able to sight in 300gr XTP Mags at 100 yards without running out of sight adjustment, so I've been quite happy with the 240gr, but either will work well for black bears.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:15 AM   #6
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by BoogieMan:

I was just reading some more about my loads anyway. Looks like I am going to end up using the 300gr XTP Mag or if I can come upon some the Speer 300gr DC. Either way it takes away any fear of not making a clean kill.
Good choice. Blood trailing a wounded deer is not a scarey thing....tracking a wounded bear is. With bear, one wants more penetration than with a thin skinned, narrow bodied deer. Either of those above bullets also make for good deer cartridges, as they penetrate well and still expand adequately when used a .460 velocities, and will damage a lot less meat than most think. The availability of 300gr XTP-MAGs and the 300 gr Speer Deep Curls(older boxes are still marked Gold Dots.) right now is just about nil. If you aren't having any luck, I would look for some Speer 300 gr JSPs(old name was UCSPs) and keep the velocity below 1500 FPS. 33-35gr of IMR 4227 works well for me with this bullet.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:46 AM   #7
tahunua001
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always aim for vital organs especially if you are pistol hunting. if you have a rifle and you can shoot the wings off a housefly in midflight while blindfolded then yes, head shots and neck shots are good... otherwise, textbook kill zone.
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:06 AM   #8
BoogieMan
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Quote:
always aim for vital organs especially if you are pistol hunting. if you have a rifle and you can shoot the wings off a housefly in midflight while blindfolded then yes, head shots and neck shots are good... otherwise, textbook kill zone.
Chest is usually where I shoot with rifle even though I (at the distances I have shot game) I can hit them anywhere I want to. The only reason I ask is for the sake of the animal. If they are giving me the harvest the least I can do is to make the cleanest kill possible.
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Old September 6, 2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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I agree, that is why a shot to the vital organs(heart and lungs) is necessary. just like with deer a broadside shot right behind the front shoulder will do the trick though with bear the vitals are a little farther forward so if you are quartering then adjust accordingly.
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Old September 8, 2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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When it comes to something that can eat you, nothing is excessive.
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Old September 9, 2013, 12:34 PM   #11
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Maybe if the topic was brown bear and the venue was Alaska...................................
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Old September 9, 2013, 03:28 PM   #12
buck460XVR
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Maybe if the topic was brown bear and the venue was Alaska...................................
While an average Black bear runs 150-250 pounds, there have been many bears taken in the last few years here in the U.S. that weighed in excess of 5-600. While they may be few and far between, the potential is there and if one is using a handgun, it's damn hard to use a straight-wall cartridge and be over gunned for bear.
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Old September 9, 2013, 07:12 PM   #13
tahunua001
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tell that to the guys using TC contenders in 45/70.
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Old September 9, 2013, 08:54 PM   #14
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted bytahunua001:

tell that to the guys using TC contenders in 45/70.

What.......that they aren't over-gunned for 500 pound Blackies?

I'm thinkin' they already know that.
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Old September 10, 2013, 11:01 AM   #15
Bullcamp82834
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buck460,

If I ever encounter a black bear that makes me wonder if my 44 mag with factory 240 gr loads isn't enough I think I'll take up square dancing as my new hobby and stay out of the woods.
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Old September 10, 2013, 04:21 PM   #16
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bullcamp82834:

buck460,If I ever encounter a black bear that makes me wonder if my 44 mag with factory 240 gr loads isn't enough I think I'll take up square dancing as my new hobby and stay out of the woods.

Bullcamp.....please show me anywhere in this thread where I stated a .44 mag was not sufficient for hunting Black bear.

I actually suggested a 300 gr .460 S&W load that is comparable to a .44 Ruger/TC only load. My comments were that there really is no such thing as overkill when it comes to hunting bears with a straight walled HANDGUN cartridge. My suggestion for the OP was to use the appropriate bullet for the velocity he intends to shoot them at, not that he avoid using a .44. But if and when you find that reference in my post, I'd appreciate you showing it to me.


You might actually like the square dancing thingy tho........
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:30 PM   #17
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Sorry Buck I guess I jumped the gun, no pun intended.
I thought you were implying that because some black bears grow quite large one should be armed with a hand cannon just in case.

I think I'd look sharp in a string tie and some highly polished boots doing a do-se-do, but the world will never know. LOL
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Old September 10, 2013, 11:00 PM   #18
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I killed my first black bear with a 357 magnum. I am sure your 460 will be plenty.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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